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Us 16, Washington 13, Syria 13, Afghanistan 10, U.s. 10, Boehner 9, Yemen 8, Florida 8, Sandy 7, Paul Ryan 6, America 6, New York 6, Obama 5, Vietnam 5, John Boehner 4, Damascus 4, Jon 4, Steve 4, U.n. 3, Eric Cantor 3,
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  FOX News    Happening Now    News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna  
   Lee. Breaking news reports. New.  

    January 2, 2013
    8:00 - 10:00am PST  

bill: timing is everything, right? a private flying a private plane over his house near fort myers, florida, spot as man snooping around his property. he hovered over the house for 10 minutes watching the guy break into his home. >> right in front of us with us making a tight circle around our property here, watching him, from the air and, he was clearly looking at us several times. looked up. bill: check that out. the pilot followed the man after he took off with his trailer in tow. so he chased him down, followed him, called the police and he was arrested. he was watching the dude from his plane break into his house. my man. >> had a nice time with you. happy new year. "happening now" starts right now
jenna: sounds like something jon would do in his plane. jon: advantages of the aviation. new violence in syria. 60,000 people have been killed in that bloody civil war. plus a trial just getting started for a woman accused of murdering her boyfriend and she could face the death penalty. it is all "happening now." jon: good morning to you and a happy new year, if we haven't got a chance to wish it to you yet. happy new year to you and welcome back. jenna: i like to call it lucky 13. i'm not so sure. depends how you look how it started out. jon: some people are happy. not sure about who. i'm jon scott. jenna: great to see you,
everybody. i'm jenna lee. welcome to the first edition of "happening now" of 2013. we begin with the dramatic deal on the so-called fiscal cliff that set up a battle on capitol hill over the nation's debt and spending. congress approved a bill late last night that averts widespread income tax increases and deep spending cuts some say would threaten to trigger another recession if they all happened at the same time. but the bill just delays the cuts for two more months and we'll do this all over again. the congressional budget deal will add 4 trillion to the deficit. 4 trillion. despite all the back and forth on the income tax debate, at that,s will go up anyway on nearly every american worker. because the bill allows the payroll tax holiday to expire. chem cats -- democrats and republicans fought hard both sides agree it doesn't solve the country's long-term fiscal problems. >> let's send a message to the american people, again
while this bill doesn't accomplish all we need to do to grow the economy, reduce the deficit and strengthen the middle class, it is a good way for us to have a happy start to a new year. by taking this first step. >> the fact is that republicans stand for smaller government and fiscal responsibility. there was nothing last night that was physically responsible. it was all maintaining, if you will the status quo of kick the can down the road. jenna: the president is set to sign the new bill as a new battle looms in washington. republicans vowing to fight in the coming weeks for significant spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. president already said he will not play that. doug mckelway is live on capitol hill. doug, what is the work environment like as you start off the new year on capitol hill? >> reporter: don't let the bipartisan vote fool you up here, jenna. atmosphere could not be anymore pour son news. fox news con tirmed
independent reports after senate majority leader harry reid called speaker boehner, that speaker boehner was running dictate toreship in the house. speaker boehner to his face to harry reid, go f yourself and used three other letters. harry reid said back to boehner. what are you talking about. boehner repeated verbatim, go f yourself. this is indication of the poison atmosphere up here. when the sequestration runs out next few months and congress must vote to increase the debt ceiling. it appears speaker boehner is fwirding for a fight on both fronts in a statement that he issued last night. he said in part, quote, now the focus turns to spending. the american people reelected a republican majority in the house and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the quote, balanced approach he promised. meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt.
the president last night indicate he is open to come promy to spending cuts but drew a line when it comes to the debt ceiling. here's the president. >> now, one last point i want to make. while i will negotiate over many things, i will not have another debate with this congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they have already racked up through the laws that they passed. let me repeat. we can't not pay bills that we have already incurred. >> reporter: that in turn drew this response from conservative republican marsha blackburn speaking on fox news this morning. >> i was very disappointed in his demeanor and comments that he made last night wanting no fight over the debt ceiling, are you kidding me? >> reporter: all of this, an indication of the fight we can expect in the coming weeks, jenna. jenna: a lot of dynamics at play.
colorful language, doug reflecting some of those high emotions. talk to a little bit about speaker boehner and the way forward for him. what are you hearing about him maintaining his leadership role and why is that a topic of conversation now? >> reporter: well, it's a topic of discussion right now in part because notice how eric cantor, the house majority leader voted on the fiscal cliff deal last night. he voted against it. some have interpreted that to be premonition, an indication perhaps there will be some sort of a challenge to the speakership of john boehner. however we have heard nobody speak publicly, nobody speak on the record in that regard. keep in mind if his speakership were to be challenged would require a vote not just of the republican conference but the entire house of representatives. jenna: big question whether or not a change in leadership would elicit different results that is conversation yet to be had in the coming weeks. >> so you try. jenna: doug, thank you very much. jon: so the white house and congress knew of the
self-imposed deadline for more than 17 months and they still managed to blow past it. finally approving a tax deal last night that doesn't seriously address the spending cuts or the nation's ballooning deficit. so who wins and who loses with this deal? talk about it with jonah gold perg, editor-at-large at "the national review" and a fox news contributor. before we get to the who wins and who loses, let's restate some of the details here, jonah. we have got $4 added to the nation's debt over the next decade. payroll taxes are up. sequestration is still looming two months down the road. we have the $620 billion in increased spending and oh, yes, $12 billion in spending cuts. that's what they signed, that is what they came to an agreement on after 17 months. >> yeah. exempt for the tax hikes, increasing deficit, increasing the debt, increasing runaway spending, and shoveling more money to special interests it is a
fantastic bill. but those things aside. the whole thing is terribly embarrassing. the american people, we'll do winners and losers thing. american people are losers. washington is a loser collectively. pretty much the entire journal listic establishment to a certain extent to a loser in the sense that, you know, we watched this thing unfold for 17 months and couldn't create a situation where cooler or saner heads prevailed. and you know, in a sense we avoided going over the fiscal cliff but a like a wiley coyote cartoon, the coyote makes to the edge. cliff and entire cliff starts to fracture and precipice goes down anyway. all the fights will get worse in the next couple months with the debt ceiling or what not. take away, cheer up the best is yet to come. jon: the big fight is down the road and they have kicked the can. talk about speaker boehner
he got the thing passed and got it through congress. he didn't get the support of the republican caucus. is he a loser? >> he is burned a trust with a lot of rank-and-file in the republican party. somewhat undeservedly. his mistakes weren't in the last week. his mistakes were three months ago, two months ago, six months ago, pick a date that, you know, once we let, once he led the republican party into, down this blind alley he left himself with very few good options. i think passing this deal was better than the alternative but that doesn't mean it's a good deal and it doesn't mean the country should have been in this place in the first place. i don't think eric cantor challenges him but i think he a weaker speaker because of all this. jon: what about paul ryan? he voted for this thing, right? >> paul ryan you have to kind of wait and see. marco rubio was given a gift from god being in the senate and being able to vote against this thing.
i think it will help him in the primaries. let's him stay pure and statesman like. paul ryan has more explaining to do going into presidential primaries going into all of this. he can make his case. he is persuasive guy. he has to say look i didn't want to dodge the tough question. this was the best possible decision, best possible decision among a lot of bad decisions to be made. but that will be, maybe have easier time making that case six months from now but there are not a lot of people on the right who want to hear it. jon: what about president obama? he sure seemed happy at that rally if that is what you want to call it? >> look i think president obama really doesn't appreciate the fact that he is the president to the entire country and not just the sort of chorus of his supporters in his own party and the idea that somehow he comes out of this looking good when he is the guy who is running washington and washington looks terrible, i think is sort of ridiculous. he also managed somehow to
do something i didn't think was possible which is make joe biden look like the grown-up in the white house. while joe biden was crafting a tough deal for the white house and for republicans no one wanted to do but being a grown to figure a way out obama went and even though supported deal went out and tried every way possible to make it unpalatable to republicans. that wasn't leadership. it wasn't presidential. it was self-indulgent and, at some point i think he reached his critical mass in terms of the perception of the kind of man and kind of president he is and it is going to hurt him. you can't have the entire city and entire elected class look ridiculous and not have the president look ridiculous. jon: vice president biden and mitch mcconnell apparently have a pretty good working relationship after quarter of a decade or century together in the senate almost. >> back room kind of guys. jon: that is i guess that is what it takes right now. not too many people happy about all this. jonah goldberg, good to talk
to you, thank you. >> great to be here, thank you. jenna: how do we get in the back room. that is where a lot of good stories. jon: a lot of smoke and mirrors. jenna: we want to check what is going on with your money. what is going on with the stock market. you can see right now a relief rally if you will will on wall street. in fact 30 stocks in the s&p 500 are trading at all-time highs today. so that is how we're kicking off the year. here at home, around the world though, a lot of green arrows. relief rally is key term. how long will the relief stay? greg palkot watching the story live from london with more. greg? >> reporter: martha, markets around the world are greeting news washington at least for the moment avoided fiscal cliff with relief and some pretty good returns. here in london the market reaching 18-month highs. shares up two.25%. paris and frankfurt not far behind. ditto asia. the hong kong market up nearly 3%.
the deal which nixed big tax hikes and spending cuts seems here averting recession for now and that's a good thing for growth it is seen. still analysts here agree as do many in the states that washington is putting off the hard decision. they call it a sticking plaster. here that is band aid in american english. also being billed by one london analyst that we talk to talk to as a temporary relief rally. not outright euphoria. there are new figures out here in europe that are pretty bloom any indeed. much of the continent is in recession. manufacturing figures down across the board and eurozone debt crisis a still around by no means resolved. several countries are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. greece and others still have to make more big austerity measures. now with their economies looking more like they're stuck in depression, this again is bad news. all of this the reason for folks here, jenna, to worry about even more jolts down
the road as they look at some pretty fragile economies. back to you. jenna: hope fully you have a lot of sticking plaster? is that what it is? sticking plaster. great roundup. thank you, greg. jon: right now officers are searching for a stalker, a man believed to be targeting a tv news reporter. here is her picture. why police say they are very concerned. a ship carrying more than 150,000 gallons of oil runs aground. it is actually a drilling rig i should say. conditions are too dangerous for crews to free it. we have the latest on an effort to prevent a oil spill in alaska
jon: new information that al qaeda is putting a bounty on the head of our ambassador to yemen. a new audio file is circulating via twitter offering a reward to anyone who kills the u.s. ambassador who is jewish.
it also offers cash for killing american soldiers. catherine herridge has details from washington. is this threat authentic, catherine, do we know? >> reporter: thank you, jon. good morning intelligence sources tell fox news they believe the threat is credible al qaeda in yemen is considered the most active and lethal of the al qaeda affiliates. what separates al qaeda in yemen from the other franchises attacking western specifically u.s. targets including u.s. homeland. this is propaganda video widely sir lated by al qaeda on the internet. state department released a statement, we seen these reports and take such threats seriously. as you know our embassy in yemen already operates in highly sensitive and difficult security environment. what also separates al qaeda in yemen from the other franchises is the american cleric anwar alaki, first american targeted for death by the cia though he was
killed in a drone strike in september of 2011 he remains the figurehead for the operation. he continues to inspire homegrown terrorists here in the united states as recently as last month, jon. jon: so this threat, what is unusual about it? going out via twitter is kind of strange? >> reporter: they really rely on twitter as well as social media as the new lifeblood. i have called it the digital jihad. that seems to be their primary method of communications. analysts who track al qaeda in yemen are questioning why the group would so publicly draw attention to its call for targeting the american ambassador and group called memri middle east research institute, says a part of the message has been deleted. they said the original message contained a photo or reference to many a ambassador chris stevens killed in the benghazi terrorist attack on september 11th along with three others positions and positioned along with ambassador stevens with a senior member of al qaeda in yemen. the group attaching this if
you will, new target with the ambassador in yemen what they see as successful killing of the u.s. ambassador in libya, jon. jon: catherine herridge in washington. thanks. >> reporter: you're bell come. jenna: we will move to alaska where we have breaking news on concerns after drilling rig that ran aground could represent a threat to the environment there. anna kooiman has details from new york city. a lot of bad weather in alaska. it is causing a major problem when it comes to getting more information. what do we know about what is going on there? >> reporter: the storm has eased up, jenna. gusts up to 30 mile-an-hours and thirty foot waves are forecasted. once the weather cooperates marine experts will board the rig to take videos and photos to come up with a salvage plan. the royal dutch/shell drilling rig appears to be stable but there are concerns that the ship could leak diesel, oil and hydraulic fuel. toe boats were pulling the rig to seattle for maintenance last week when they were forced to tow it
to an area that would cause the least amount of environmental damage and cut it loose. it ran aground off the coast of alaska monday night. >> there is a real concern that is happening now? >> reporter: there is a spill response team that is preparing a plan and mobilizing equipment in the event that a spill should happen. a spokesperson for the team tells us aerial pictures show no signs of a leak. an official from shell says the rig recently had $292 million of improvements done. it is built with reinforced steel. that is three inches thick. the habitat is home to harbor seals, sea lie on and salmon and at least two ending danered species. the top dell catt on the resources committee ed markey is sharing his concern with this statement. oil companies keep saying they can conquer the arctic but the arctic keeps disagreeing with the oil companies. drilling expansion could prove disasterous for this sensitive environment. shell's operations manager says once the situation is
under control, jenna they will investigate the cause. the rep was not certain whether the findings will be made public. the coast guard plans to investigate as well and they will make their findings open to the public. back to you. >> we'll continue to watch it. anna, thank you. jon: superstorm sandy caused so much devastation when it slammed into the northeast. the senate approved billions of dollars in aid to help the victims. why those affected won't be seeing any of that money anytime soon. [gunfire] plus one of the deadliest attacks in weeks in syria as the violence there only gets worse. how much longer than the assad regime last? ambassador john bolton with his thoughts next. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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jon: breaking knew. -- now. we're learning 3 1/2 hours from now new york area lawmakers are going to be meeting with the leadership of the house of representatives, speaker boehner and majority leader cantor. they are outraged over a decision to delay a vote that would send billions of dollars in aid to victims of superstorm sandy. the house republican leadership allowed, decided to allow the current term of congress to end without holding any kind of a vote on that. rick folbaum has more. rick? >> reporter: it will be interesting to see if those lawmakers are as blunt face-to-face with john boehner as they were on the floor of the house and here on fox news earlier today. there really is one of congress's basic responsibilities as a branch that controls federal dollars, helping americans after a natural disaster but republican leaders already upset about government spending and the fiscal cliff stuff thought the sandy aid package that was passed in the senate was too big.
$50 billion. had too much pork in it they thought. leaders called it a night last night without a sandy vote, leading republican peter king of new york to come on fox news today to accuse his own party stabbing people from the northeast in the back. >> why the republican party has this bias against new york, this bias against new jersey, this bias against the northeast. they wonder why they're becoming a minority party. why we're going to be party of permanent minority. what they did last night was so immoral, so disgraceful, so irresponsible. supposed to be the party of family values and families are starving, families are suffering. families spread all over, living in substandard housing. this was a disgrace. they are inexcusable and they have had it. as far as i'm concerned i'm on my own. they will have to go a long way to get my vote on anything. >> reporter: harsh words from congressman king, parter leader john boehner is committed to getting a sandy aid bill done this month. it would have to be written all over again with the new congress. people in desperate need of help could be waiting months
more to get it. we'll see what happens at that meeting later on today. back to you. jon: 3 1/2 hours from now. rick folbaum, thanks. jenna: we'll turn now to the syria where the u.n. is now estimating at least 60,000 people have been killed in nearly two-year long conflict. doeses killed today alone as a syrian warplane fires a missile at a gas station near damascus. you're seeing the aftermath. sparking a huge fire that may be one of the deadliest attacks we've seen in weeks. this comes as rebel bell forces step up attacks on syrian airports. with the new-year-old questions continue to swirl. is this the year the international community gets involved? aaron david miller, advisor to six secretaries of state offers this analysis in an editorial today published in "the washington post." quote, we should not be the world's top cop or caseworker charged with fixing every calamity. we don't control history.
time we attend to our own broken house instead of running around the world trying to repair everyone else's. ambassador john bolton former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and fox news contributor. ambassador, aaron david miller's article, serious chaos, is it america's fault. he lays out the paradigm for not getting involved. do you agree or disagree? >> i agree and disagree in part. the test for foreign policy should be are our national interests affected and what are we prepared to do about it? in case of syria there is one critical national interest. what to do about the stockpile of chemical weapons and precursor chemicals and possibly other programs of weapons of mass destruction, biological weapons, nuclear and so on that the assad regime has. we do have a profound interest in making sure that the chemical weapons in particular don't get into even worse hand that they're in now. i'm afraid we have allowed nearly a year and a half to
go by without treating that issue seriously. i don't think there is an american national interest at this point in getting involved in the conflict other than to make sure that those weapons don't get outside of syria. jenna: question to ask is chaos in syria based on what you just said in our best interests if we can figure out where the chem cool weapons are and secure them? >> well i think we could have to take steps like destroying them in place which is very, very dangerous. but we have allowed this illusion for years, an illusion i might say shared by the incoming secretary of state john kerri, that the assad regime is pretty reasonable group of people. you could deal with them, negotiate with them and we did not treat seriously the chemical weapons threat. that might be a lesson learned going forward. but part of our problem is while the assad regime has nothing to good to recommend it, after a year-and-a-half or two years we have yet to
identify leaders of the syrian opposition who share our values, who can be counted on not to conduct a bloodbath of the supporters of assad if he falls and that is just inexcusable that we have allowed that amount of time to go by without finding out who we can trust if anybody in the opposition. jenna: do you think they exist? >> well i'm prepared to admit there there are some that exist but i would like the proponents in the united states who want us to get involved in syria on behalf of the opposition to arm them or otherwise support them, just to identify who these people are and can they be trusted? i would add one further condition. they have to commit to handing over the chemical weapons if they take charge. that to me is a absolute prerequisite. jenna: final question for you, ambassador. we've shown the video. we've seen amateur video for two years. we asked these questions now, as you mentioned nearly two years. what will make this year different than the past? >> i'm not sure that anything will make it different. you know, another mistake we made for two years counting
on the russians to help us ease assad out of power. that was wrong for two years. it will be wrong going forward if that is the view we have. we have iran with very high-stakes keeping assad regime in power. the obama team has been unwilling to take iran on because they want to negotiate with iran about their nuclear weapons program. i can't imagine a situation that is as bad as it is where we can say we have helped contribute to it by our utterly unreal listic view of assad in the region as a whole. jenna: using chemical weapons will that force our hand? is there something out there that will force our hand even if there is philosophy you're mentioned part of the administration feeling we'll not get involved otherwise? >> i don't want to see chemical weapons used inside syria but i'm not sure there is lot we can do about it in the short term. the overriding american objective is make sure they don't get outside of syria into the hands of al qaeda and other terrorist.
>> we saw libya, the weapons inside that country and where they went. ambassador, great to see you. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> there is a big sigh of relief over the fiscal cliff deal but if you think that means your taxes are not going up this year, that is not necessarily so. what is really in the deal and how quickly it will impact your paycheck
jon: right now, some crime headlines we're keeping an eye on. attorneys in the movie
theater massacre case are in a colorado courtroom today. the judge making sure both sides are ready for a preliminary hearing next week. james holmes is charged with killing 12 people on the opening night of the most recent "batman" film in aurora. police are searching for a man accused of stalking this tv anchor. she had a no-contact order in 2007 after the suspect crashed his car through the front door of the news station twice. they said he is following her again. a possible explosive device in virginia. police closing off the streets near a tire shop. the suspicious device was found in the parking lot there. jenna: there are serious new concerns about the impact of the fiscal cliff deal on the nation's economy and our own everyday lives. not only does it add $4 trillion to the nation's deficit according to the cbo but nearly every worker in america will pay more federal taxes this year
because the bill allow as payroll tax cut you've been enjoying for two years to expire. here is example what that means. median income in the united states for households is just above $50,000. so according to the tax policy center, those households will take home about $820 less because of the tax increase. steve moore, senior economics writer for "the wall street journal" is joining us now. steve, that is one household. $800 less per year. what does that mean for the economy? what does that mean for that household? >> great question, jenna. by the way i don't think you're one of those millionaires and billionaires president obama talked about and i know i'm not. so --. jenna: you should be my agent, steve. you should be negotiating for more. >> i think we're all going to be paying higher taxes if we have wages and salaries and the payroll tax, as you know, jenna, comes right out of paycheck. it will affect people, lower income people, middle income people, higher income people. so that is a real bite out of middle class incomes, no
question about it. you know all the litany of other taxes that went up. the capital-gains tax, the small business tax, the dividend tax. it was a whopper of a tax increase. about $600 billion, jenna. i think overall the impact of this tax increase will be negative for the economy. i think there will be less hiring and less investing. jenna: so, big jobs report on friday coming out that will give us the last read into 2012 about what the job market looks like. >> right. jenna: what about jobs steve? you talk about the list of different taxes. we can feel that in our pocketbook, what about job growth in the country, what does it mean for that? >> first off there are signs that the job market is picking up, no question about it. we've seen decline in unemployment insurance claims over the last several weeks. that is a good sign, jenna. some industry are doing very well right now. the housing market is picking up. boy, the energy sector is really booming. and so i think we'll get some job growth in the next several months but i think this bill means that we're going to get less jobs than
we would otherwise. when you have 20 million people, already, jenna, that either don't have a job at all or don't have a full-time job, this wasn't a very smart time in my opinion to be raising these taxes on businesses and investors. it was having last night, i was up very late last night on fox as we watched that drama develop and you know the president gave his remarks. he said we need more investment in this country. of course he is right, we do need more investment in this country. why will he sign today a tax bill that raises taxes on investment? i don't get the logic to that. jenna: first good it that you were watching fox and not orange bowl, steve. you got your nose to the griped stone watching the news. >> there you go. jenna: conservatives argued for the bush-era tax cuts to stay. that is something happening in the bill for the majority of the americans. the other originalment is don't cut government spending because it will do exactly what you say, when you cut consumer taking money out of the economy.
what about those. >> i don't agree with that argument at all. in fact i made the opposite case. what the economy needs a dose of government austerity. we've seen biggest increase of government spending over last four years. as you know the next big fight, jenna will be the debt ceiling where we will eclipse, 16, approaching $17 trillion of debt. unless you cut spending, jenna, you can't bring that debt down. after five years of an unbelievable spending spree here in washington maybe it is time to tamper back that spending and bring some cost control here in washington, d.c.. jenna: where do you start? now that we have the next big battle that will be coming up we're all looking forward to for the next two months, where do you start? where realistically do you see government spending being cut? >> i'll tell you, jenna. we know where we're going to start. they delayed by two months this automatic across the board what they call the sequester of spending which is 8 t0 10% reduction across the board in defense cuts and domestic discretionary programs.
i believe come march those spending cuts will go forward. now that's a pretty big reduction in spending but republicans i talked to on capitol hill say this isn't the smartest way to cut government spending but with this president may be the only way to cut spending steve what is the difference here, this will sound a little crazy. we're going to $17 trillion mark of the deficit. we're already at 16 trillion. the numbers are so big it is hard to imagine. what is the difference? i'm not arguing for more deficit. obviously that wouldn't be good for any of us as they continue to move up and numbers are so big how does it change things. >> that's a great point. i've come to the conclusion that the numbers are so large, jenna, $17 trillion? that is, something like 14 digits on that number and the numbers get so big we almost almost anesthetized to it but i think every american in their gut and in their head they understand a great nation that wants to be the leader of the free
world and the global economic superpower can not continue to do that, jenna, if we borrow a trillion dollars year after year. you know people buying a lot of our debt are the chinese and other countries that are our competitors. jenna: a big question how that all plays out in the years to come. steve, i know you will be watching with us. appreciate the analysis as always. >> happy new year. see you soon. jon: despite that happy new year. there has been a dearth of good news lately. let's look at the big board. markets are surging on the word of a fiscal cliff deal. markets up almost 200 points. nicole petallides live from the new york stock exchange. nicole? >> jon, this is one of days you kick off a new year, markets are soaring. all the bulls would love to have a day just like this one every single day. all three major market averages were up at one point up over 2% each. dow jones industrials are up 222 points. every single name on the dow
jones industrial average has a green arrow in every sector. this is one of those days that is positive across the board. all of this coming on the heels of what we saw in washington as the lawmakers move forward and avert the fiscal cliff, at least for now. another factor is that a lot of people sold stocks late last year and throughout the year because they were taking profits. they wanted to avoid higher taxes. but now a lot of the traders are telling me they will want to get back in here. we're seeing a lot of real winners. bank of america is at a new high. hewlett-packard is jumping, intel. those are winners. ford and general motors hitting new 52-week highs as we're looking demand picking up for pickup trucks and improving economy. facebook, apple, new iphone -- iphone 6. a lot of green arrows. may call it a sugar high. i don't know how long it will last but a lot of bulls on wall street say hey we'll take it. jon: i want a new pickup truck but i won't buy one just yet.
nicole petallides at new york stock exchange. thank you. jenna: right now students from sandy hook elementary are getting ready for their first day back in school. the steps the town is taking to make sure children feel, well, more safe when they're back in the classroom. a risky car race on snow. who decided to ref vary engines and fly down a road covered in ice? we'll tell you coming up
jon: new information right now on stories from around
the world. in china two of three workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel have been rescued. they were working on a metro line under construction when there was a landslide. one worker is still trapped. britain's prince william tried to rescue a man who was swept out to sea in northwest england. it happened 15 minutes after midnight on new year's day. the prince, a rescue pie with the royal air force was within in the air a minute within the call but the rescue was unsuccessful. they called off the search. racing on snow. we're back in china, northeast china. obstacles set up to challenge the drivers all of them amateurs. this event one of several kicking off the month-long ice snow festival which starts on saturday. jenna: new information from connecticut now where students from sandy hook elementary are preparing for their first day back in school. there is an open house letting kids visit the new
building where they will attend classes from now on. they haven't been back to the school where the gunman opened fire at sandy hook elementary murdering 20 children and six adults. david lee miller is in monroe where the school is. tell us a little bit about the plan. >> reporter: this is a special day and a great deal of work has gone into making it possible. it is a cold, crisp morning here in the town of monroe. signs are out throughout the town to welcome the students and their parents. they are going to be using a school that had been closed due to a drop in enrollment. the school, the chalk hills school. it closed two years ago. the principal of sandy hook you might recall was killed during that rampage, trying to protect her students. the interim principal who was in retirement from sandy hook is now going to assume those responsibilities and she put on a web page for sandy hook the following quotes. i want parents and families
during the loss of their precious children to know their loved ones are foremost in our hearts and minds as we move forward. we recognize your needs are paramount and in preparations and planning. for those preparations and planning as you mentioned today is a open house of sorts. in the next fuse hour the kids and parents will have a chance to walk around the new school building and see it for themselves. tomorrow is when the actual classes are going to get underway. jenna? jenna: sounds like an open house is a good idea, that desire to return to normal, something that we can all understand. security must be tight, david lee. can you tell us a little bit about that and how that is playing into trying to keep things normal for the students? >> reporter: that is the word we hear over and over, normalcy. we want to try to make things normal as possible. one of the things they're doing to try to make things normal they're keeping the media away. i'm speaking to you from a park two miles away from the chalk hills school. they want to make sure that
these kids don't have any cameras shoved in their faces. additionally, security as you mentioned is very tight. there is a check point that has been set up outside the school. they want to make sure only those people properly credentialed are i believe a to go in. we're told all locks and exit doors, all the fire systems have been double-checked and the preparations don't end there. very quickly i can tell you they have brought into this school the same desks and same furniture that were in the sandy hook school to try as much as possible to make the kids feel comfortable. they have even taken some of the clothing that was draped over the backs of chairs in the old school and brought them to the new school. in the words of one official it looks as if time has stood still. this much is really certain, jenna. this new school arguably will be the safest in the country. jenna? jenna: we're all thinking about them, wishing them well. david lee, thank you. jon: will have a lot of repairing to go through. some people are calling it the biggest case since the
casey anthony trial. a young woman faces the death penalty in the brutal murder of her boyfriend the shocking evidence found at her apartment and why she says she is innocent. kicking off the new year with a new diet? you might want to hold off. a new study that could change your mind about shedding those few extra pounds. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away.
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jon: before you kick off your new diet in this new year a surprising new study just out shows a few extra pounds might actually be good for you. a new study finds people who are moderately overweight live longer than people who are either skinny or obese. but that study is stirring plenty of controversy. let's talk about it with
dr. marti ma carry, physician and professor of public health at johns hopkins university. we've always been told, doctor, you get overweight, get back to the normal weight, get back to a more desirable body mass index. what is with the new study? >> who would have thought, jon, being overweight a couple five or 10 pounds could have a effect. this is research assembly of all other research studies and the effect was very small but it is important to remember-off all effect being moderately obese or 20 or 0 pounds overweight is debt tri mental. this blip is hard to explain. jon: maybe it is stress. maybe that has something to do with it. but there isn't any clear answer here? >> the other thought that people have is that they, this research looked at all cause mortality. so it's, factoring car
accidents and falls the same as heart disease. maybe having a little extra padding can be protective when you're in an accident, who knows. jon: there is a study about sucrose, some interesting findings about sucrose versus glucose and why sucrose, fruit sugar, might not necessarily be so good. >> very interesting study in at that's "journal of the american medical association" looking at two types of sugar that we routinely see, fructose and glucose. it she is that fructose may be worse for you because it may shut off your ability to feel full or that reflex, where as glucose may shut that down giving you a sense of fullness. fructose is sweeter than glucose. also more likely to be in american western diets because it comes from things like corn and sugarcane. glucose is more in fruits and natural things. jon: worse than fat in causing obesity? >> absolutely. now, sugar is increasingly
being recognized to have surpassed fat in terms of things we should avoid in our diet. when i go to the grocery store the first thing i look at on a nutrition label is amount of sugar in something. sugar affects you in a hormonal way. it increases insulin levels. it affects your fat met tab level and may contribute to a lot of the excess body weight. jon: a quick thought about a story jenna will talk about more next hour, several workers, more than half a dozen workers at an indiana hospital were fired because they refused to get the flu shot. what do you think about that? >> i thought that, that is very interesting. it is a milestone. i understand on one hand, having somebody work without the flu shot may mean that they can give the flu to somebody without even knowing it. if you're a health care worker, you're around a lot of vulnerable people and in that situation i think workers were working with cancer patients whose immune system is up pressed. you know, on the other hand, having an employer require
that you get injected, that is certainly concerning. so i see both sides. jon: well, you should be on the panel next hour. jenna will be talking about it as i said. could face. legal action dr. mccontrary. thank you. >> good to be with you, jon. jon: that legal panel coming up in the next hour of show. jenna: a woman facing a death penalty in a brutal murder of her boy friend. some are comparing to it casey anthony trial. >> reporter: this could be most sense sayingal trial of the year. 33-year-old, jody arias moird of her boyfriend travis alexander. 30-year-old shot in the face in the shower, stabbed for 27 times. his body was in the found for five days. they have good case including memory card of digital camera that includes before and after the murder of alexander. that trial is getting underway today. we'll keep you posted back
to you. >> what a story. rick, thank you. jon: the dow surged after the opening bell this morning. investor relieved that congress aearth haved the fiscal cliff in a manner of speaking but we'll tell you what the deal could really mean for our economy. new details on a serious health scare for secretary of state hillary clinton a blood clot near the train -- brain puts her in the hospital. what doctors are saying now about her recovery.
bill: fox news alert, takes a look at the doi back over 13,000 again, up almost 220 points at the moment. inch investigators reacting to the fact that congress got its act together after a fashion and passed legislation to avert for now the so-called fiscal cliff. there are still a lot of arguments yet to be had. they didn't address some of the biggest issues, like for instance the see questions sister that would cut half a bill kwroepb dollars from pentagon spending. the investment community seems to like it, the dow up 219 points. we'll keep and eye on it. >> reporter: the control room a brand-new hour straight ahead for ou. as you saw the markets enjoying the deal hashed out last night, lawmakers steering us away from the fiscal cliff but no shortage of road blocks on the horizon. what it all means, what is next for taxpayers, 77% of whom will see their taxes go up now. some of taxes tied to obama care
new portions of the law kicking in on january 1st, a live report on who is paying more and for what. wait until you hear about a brand-new lawsuit that is being filed by a convicted killer who says the beer made me do it. he says the beer makers should have warned him that he'd become addicted and would go on to lead a life of crime. really? all of that and breaking news in the second hour of "happening now" now starts right now. jon: hi noon here on the east coast, there is new fallout from the fiscal cliff deal with tax times ahead. i'm jon scott. jenna: i'm jenna lee. we are live on capitol hill where one drama is over but the stage is sill set for new battles and debt and spending this after congress finally passed a compromise from tumbling off the so-called fiscal cliff. but the deal which the president says he will sign also includes an a cross the board tax hike
with payroll taxes going back up for every american worker. while the senate overwhelmingly passed the deal it was a different story in the house. house speaker john boehner and paul ryan backed it, 167 other lawmakers in the house did not and they included eric cantor and house majority whip kevin mccarthy, as other republican lawmakers blasted the deal. >> today's agreement inch vine inshrines this into law for as long as i am president. the deficit needs to be reduced and balanced. everyone pays their fair share and pays their part. that's how our economy does best. jenna: peter doocy live at the white house. what was the main reason they
gave for not supporting it. >> reporter: because this bill which orange natured in the senate and passed by own overwhelming 89-8 vote margin has $620 billion in new tax hikes and only $15 billion in spending cuts. that is a 41 to 1 ratio of new taxes to spending cuts and that just did not fly with most house republicans. last night the bill actually passed the republican-controlled house with a majority 172 democratic votes. congressman michelle bachmann is one of the members who voted no. and her reason is this. quote, rather than a deficit reduction plan the senate sent us agree government plan, i cannot support a plan that has billions in tax increases with no meaningful cuts in spending. it is time to solve problems rather than delay them. but there were 85 republicans who voted for this bill and this is the reason one of them,
congressman paul ryan gave, he said today i joined my colleagues in the house to protect as many americans as possible from a tax increase. we also provided certainty by making the lower tax rates permanent. 16 democrats voted no last night on the fiscal cliff deal but democratic president barack obama says the house passage of this bill reflects his principles. last night he said i was pleased. you heard a moment ago those remarks. president obama boarded air force one to rejoin his family on his vacation. we are awaiting official word how he will sign the bill which we hear is now being printed up the street at the capitol, jenna. jenna: peter, you know, when you see a stormy night like we did in the capitol, sometimes you expect clearer skies next day, people kind of relax and are getting back to the work. that is not the case when we see this hurricane sandy relief bill and the house did not bring it
up. what is the latest reaction from the house delaying the vote on that bill. >> reporter: another stormy day, jenna. there is a lot of anger among especially members who represent new york and new jersey. congressman peter king said this morning that he is distraught the house of representatives did not vote last night on this bill for aid for sandy victims in the affected areas. president obama just a few minutes before i walked out here to the lawn put out a paper statement that is urging the house to vote today on that bill it's a $64.4 billion bill that is packed with aid for residents of new york and new jersey and the affected areas, and that is another bill that passed the senate first last week. jenna: big meeting at 3:00pm with house leadership and some of the delegates from new york and new jersey. thank you. jon: let's bring in charlie hurt columnist with the washington times for more on the fiscal cliff deal. i know you have been scouring washington and looking for an adult.
have you found any? >> no, that is the one thing that is in short supply around here. only in washington would we have a definite reduction plan that would pass both chambers of congress and be signed by the president that actually increases the deficit. it's absolutely crazy. even, you know, the republicans -- i do you understand their argument that people like paul ryan makes about protect being the highest number of taxpayers from a huge tax increase and that is a very good argument and it's a wonderful thing to set in stone these tax cuts that had originally been set to expire. but the problem is, it does not address the problem, and the problem is the spending. and cutting spending is always unpopular and he's people in this town are simply -- they are loathe to do anything that is unphror because all they want to do is to be loved by their
constituents and they just want to be loved. jon: i misstated it last hour when i said that it raises spending, it actually raises revenues, taxes go up by $620 billion. what did they do on the spending side? >> they did virtually nothing. well to be fair they cut spending in the -- i can't remember the exact number. jon: 12 billion i think is the number. >> yeah thin they turned right around and added some 300 billion in new spending that completely offsets the minor, the modest cuts that they made. awful it is just goodies for people, goodies for constituencies back home and things like that all of which is, you know, who doesn't want a couple of billion dollars, i would love to have a couple of billion dollars. come on, at some point they have to be responsible and they have to sort of acknowledge the fact that we are broke, we are out of money. we are borrowing more than
40-cents out of every dollar from places like china the madness has to stop. then they say, well, you know we'll deal with that in the -- in the debt ceiling fight. well, that's what you said about the last time we had this fight. they are not dealing with the spending and at some point we are going to have to deal witness. and every day that we wait not only does it mean there is going to be more money that we'll have to pay back ooh it's going t, it's going tow get harder, hurt people more and it will get uglier. jon: it was interesting the sound clip jenna played from pedestrians talking about how it's going to be the modus operandi from his administration from here on out that all cuts, you know, all cuts to the deficit are going to be balanced, except that they didn't cut the deficit. >> exactly. every time i hear that i want to say i'm sorry, what cuts? you wanted to make it balanced, where are the cuts?
what he's saying there, he's saying that, okay next year we're going to go back and raise more taxes. who is he going to hit up for more taxes, is he going to raise more taxes further on the so-called rich or hit up lower and lower tax brackets for this money? he is saying this these tax cuts are, you know, this is just the beginning. we are going to -- we're not going to cut taxes further, we are actually going to have a policy of continuously raising taxes, and i just wonder, who is he going to go back and hit up for that money. jon: congresswoman marsha blackburn was on last show saying let's cut every department in the federal budget by 10%, 11%, that would be worth considering but they don't seem to go there. >> it would be wildly unpopular but they can't seem to do anything else. jon: charlie hurt. if you find a grown up there let
me know. jenna: doctors are using blood thinners to treat a clot near secretary of state hillary clinton's brain. are they even talking about when she might be released? >> reporter: it's not clear on that yet. she was admitted sunday and her tkras say she is making, quote, extent progress and they expect she'll make a full recovery. here is what one fox medical contractor says about the blood thinners she is on. >> once you treat a patient like this with blood thinners and they do well for a new days the way she has the prognosis is much, much better and the risk of stroke goes way, way down. >> reporter: according to secretary clinton's team of doctors they will monitor her until they feel comfortable releasing her. they stayed said ithey said they began treating the secretary with blood thinners. she will be released once the
medication doades has been established. her doctors say the secretary did not 0 suffer a stroke or neurological damage as a result of this clot. jenna: what do we know about how this all happened? >> here is what the state department has told us about it. secretary clinton returned from a trip to europe in early december and she had some type of stomach virus that left her severely dehydrated. she had to cancel a trip to the middle east and north africa. in mid december she was recovering from the virus at home. a spokesman said she fainted, fell, hit her head and got a concussion. she didn't go to the hospital at that time but did have to cancel her scheduled december 20th testimony before congress on the benghazi-libya attacks. she did go see a doctor for a follow-up exam this past sunday. that doctor found the blood clot and she was admitted to the hospital later that day. jenna: we wish her a speedy recovery. jon: we've heard a lot about tax increases averted by this fiscal
cliff deal. did you know there are millions of dollars in new healthcare taxes that are already in effect? we'll have a complete break down on that and tell you how much it could cost you, next. phruts, san jose police caught off guard following a bizarre run in with a naked man carrying a sword. this strange story coming up. and call it the drunk defense, a group of inmates taking beer companies to court because they claim boos booze made them commit crimes. do they have a case in our legal panel weighs in next. when you have diabetes... your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes.
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jenna: lots of talk today about the tax increases most americans won't see because of the fiscal cliff. pheuplmills of americans are on the hook for a lot of other tax hikes to pay for the health law. liz mcdonnell joins us. we talked about the income taxes
not going up for a majority of americans. what is this all about. >> reporter: we are counting 20 taxes in health reform. the controversy is, jenna, president obama said these new healthcare reform classes would not hit the middle class. now we are finding that some of them might hit the middle class. here is president obama in 2010 when the law was signed and how the health reform act would protect the middle class. >> millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle class tax cut for healthcare in history. [applause] >> that's what this reform is about. >> reporter: what we're counting being enacted just today are eight new health reform taxes. some of them hit the upper brackets but when you look at the tax items that are being basically enacted right now, going into law right now, jenna, you're going to see that a number of them do hit the middle class. for example flex health accounts are going to be capped. medical ducks will be capped.
you can only take now 10% of your agi versus 77 1/2%. elimination of tax provided retiree drugs. the middle class can use their health statement to buy nonprescription drugs. we are tracking this. 20 new taxes, eight of them out of health reform being started today, jenna. this is now being called the high cost of affordable care, that is the joke about it on wall street. jenna: how much is this supposed to raise? >> reporter: yeah it's supposed to raise $500 billion over the next dec decade or so to pay for health reform. whether or not the taxes stays in plays, whether congress strikes the taxes down and looks for revenue elsewhere remains to be seen. back to you. jenna: liz thank you. jon: a bizarre standoff own new
year's day to tell you about. police in san jose. california spending three hours trying to get a naked man to drop asam a a samurai sword. it started with a 911 call. the guy had an assault rifle, when police arrived at the scene he jumped out of his car, no clothes on, but carrying a sword reportedly saying, quote, you're going to have to kill me. they didn't. he surrendered, nobody was hurt. the guy is under arrest right now. jenna: that's sough don't see every day. jon: no you don't and that is a good thing. jenna: is gan afghanistan about to turn into another vietnam? just today the taliban is making that comparison. is there truth there? we will go in depth with general jack keane coming up much. new concerns about the health of hugo chavez amid fears his condition just took a turn for the worse. we'll tell you who just visited with him, what he's saying, what
it means potentially for the future of this country. we are live with that story ahead.
jenna: welcome back, everyone. the taliban today making a bold comparison saying the planned withdrawal for our u.s. forces from afghanistan by the end of next year is just like america's pull out from viet tpharpblgs adding that when america faced, quote utter destruction in vietnam they came up with a formula to declare victory and run end quote. now the terrorist group is charging the u.s. wants to do the very same thing in afghanistan, transfer security and run. all of this as a top afghan negotiator for the government there says he remains cautiously optimistic about peace prospects hoping to transform the taliban, the very same one that made comments about us, into a political movement that could
benefit the country. in the meantime with all the focus on the fiscal cliff and other news here in the united states there were deadly attacks in afghanistan over the holidays that we wanted to make sure we mentioned to you. for example, last week a car bomb exploded at the gate of a u.s. military base killing three afghans. the taliban, yep the same ones claiming responsibility for that attack. general jack keane is a retired four-star general the former vice chief of staff of the army and a fox news military analyst. i want to talk about our men and women overseas in afghanistan right now today. we talk about the war almost like it's past tense already and they are fighting there. wha there. what does the head aeu year lo ahead look like for them. >> some are assisting the afghan forces and they know this war is winding down. our soldiers and our troops, it
is absolutely amazing the resilient see they have displayed these ten-plus years. they know it's not a popular war at home. they have been determined from the out set and are as determined today that there is a definite connection with stability and security in afghanistan and stability and security at home in the united states. they always make that connection and they are making that today. i'm actually convinced until they actually walk out of there they will give it everything they can. jenna: are doe doing enough to support them? >> the vietnam comparison has some accuracy. we are a war weary nation. we made time tables not based on the conditions on the ground. jenna: we saw that that didn't work in vietnam. why would we repeat that? >> we did it -rblgs the president of the united statessess ka late the war but set a time schedule, if you can remember going back to 2 ao 0 th2009 at the speech of west
point he escalated the war and said this is when we're going to leave. we told the enemy we tkpw-r tog to leave by 2014. we are on a path to do that. there is higher risk associated with that strategy. all that said we still have an opportunity here with two more key decisions coming up to be able to sustain the afghan national security forces over a period of time to continue marginalizing the taliban. jenna: how long is that period of time in. >> it's probably about four or five years. the two decisions the president has in front of him, one is what will be the size of the stay-behind force that we will leave in afghanistan. we will leave one here as opposed to what we did in iraq where we did not leave one and we've had disastrous impact as a result of it. if he agrees with general allen's recommendation that we do have an opportunity to continue to sustain the security forces of the afghan military. the second decision is what is
the funding going to be for the afghan security forces? if we don't fund them at the level where they are at now, which is 352,000, if we fund them with one of the options that is on the table, which are is one-third less or 230,000 then there is hardly any chance that we can succeed. those are two key decisions in front of the president that he's going to be making in the next six months, which will help to determine afghan's future. jenna: one to definitely watch especially considering the fiscal environment we've been talking so much about. getting back to the point about the taliban, comparing our actions in afghanistan to our action in vietnam. you say there is truth to that and many have said that in the past. is there also truth in what al-qaida has said about us, that we are the paper tiger that they've criticized us for being in. >> the al-qaida has always believed that the unite owe united states of america is morally weak and we lack
character. they look at all the proximate sees that have been killing us and we have not responded. when they dropped the two embassies in africa, in 1988, and all we did was throw to missiles at them and bombs at them up in the training basis up in afghanistan and never put a tkpwhrofl on them i thought that brought out 9/11 more than anything. they thought they could come for us and we didn't even respond. we did go right after them in afghanistan, we did take down the sanctuary. we drove them into pakistan. we stayed on al-qaida's central leadership in pakistan. the challenge is that al-qaida has spread its tentacles throughout the middle east and they are on the rice despite our effort to stay on top of us. >> i ask the question about the taliban and being brought into the central government in afghanistan, and what it would mean in that country. those are big questions that we won't be able to answer today,
general keane but i'm sure we'll be talking about them in the future. it's great to have you on the show. >> good talking to you jenna as always too. jon: and update now on another government leader no friend to america, the prognosis for venezuelan leader hugo chavez sounds grim. he recently underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery in cuba. now his decision is being described as delicate. steve harrigan is following this live from miami. >> reporter: his condition is being described in many different waeufplts the official version from the government is as you said, delicate. it's come being from the vice president who says hugo kha shrez is fully conscious that he's been able to have several conversations with him over the past three days, and that he's coherent. he understands his situation. he said the internet rumors that ha srez may have slippe chavez may have slipped into a coma or is on life sue or port is
attacks on the government by sick people. the real question now is will 4 he be able to attend his own inauguration. there have been hints about postponing that day he has hand-picked his successor, his vice president, a one time bus driver, nicholas moduro. if he were to die before the inauguration there would have to be a new presidential election within 30 days and there is very big question whether little known moduro could win that election. jon: it doesn't sound as if things are looking too good for him right now. no one has seen or heard from chavez within the past three weeks. despite the claims they would have brought him out if he was in decent shape. jon: thank you. jenna: one of the bloodist
attacks in a two-year civil war in syria. we have a live report from that region up ahead. also, get a flu shot or lose your job, that is the stakes the policy at an indiana hospital. is it legal? can you force employees to get a shot? we'll take a look at both sides of the argument. >> i feel like it's a toxin i don't want in my body, there is no guarantee that it will protect you. >> i am not a troublemaker. i feel like i'm a good nurse and unfortunately the hospital is losing some good nurses.
jenna: in a startling new report u.n. is estimating more than 60,000 people have lost their lives in syria's civil war. today the bashar al-assad regime launched what may be one of the bloody eufs attacks yet. an air strike targeting a gas station outside of damascus and turned it into a deadly inferno as you can see by the amateur video captured on your screen here. there are reportsrmed at this time that dozens of people have died there. this comes as we get word of rebels launching an attack on a major air base in northern syria. a lot of action in syria. leland vittert is live in jerusalem with more. >> reporter: jenna this attacking air bases seems to be a new strategy by the rebels because the regime still has the trump card of their air force. they can use it to bomb rebel
stropb strongholds. also they need those air space toes get supplies in especially ammunition, men, equipment. they are relatively soft targets. it's easy i for the rebels to move in and attack the air bases around them. if successful this would be a major change for the rebels who over the past couple of weeks we had seen move into more organized battle groups and launch for coordinated attacks especially indicated by this one which was on at least three separate air bases in the north. concerning, perhaps though is who these fighters are. they are from an al-qaida syndicate group. they are the best warriors in syria but at the same time they tend to be al-qaida loyalists, trained by al-qaida in iraq and strongly in support of a radical form of islam and jihad. the question is how many civilian deaths will continue as
the civil war becomes more fluid as the rebels become slightly better? we got a stark lesson in that today when the regime bombed a gas station in a damascus suburb, an area the rebels had taken control of in damascus, tightening the news on bashar al-assad. that's when it was bombed. a dozen people dead on the ground. the question going forward for the regime is how many people are they willing to kill including civilians to regain control some of the areas that the rebels that have now new pow 0er are starting to get control of. they say the regime is willing to kill as many people as they need to to keep president bashar al-assad in power. jenna: thank you. jon: an indiana hospital is stirring some controversy now after firing eight of its employees who refused to get the flu shot. the hospital says the policy is intended to protect patients who have weakened immune systems
from potentially deadly illnesses. in the past the hospital made the shot optional for employees, now it is mandatory. some workers say that goes too far. who is right? let's talk about it with faith jenkins a former prosecutor, and esther panich a criminal defense attorney. faith, these inoculations are recommended by the american medical association and the centers for disease control. if those two organizations say you ought to do this shouldn't hospital employees have to do it? >> i think they should and they are doing exactly what we want hospitals to do, they are being proactive and using preventative measures here. listen the flu, it's a pre convenient tabl virus and a virus that can be spread to patients. all the hospital is saying is, if you want to work here we want you to get this shot because we want to provide the best possible environment for our patients. it's absolutely legal for them to be able to do that, and then there is also and opt out for
religious purposes or if you have some kind of allergy to the shot, they are saying tell us about it and you won't have to take it, otherwise if you work here we think this is what we need to do to provide the best care possible for the patients in this facility. jon: at least a couple of the people who were fired and perhaps all of them tried to invoke that religious exemption to prevent themselves from having to get the flu shot, some kind of a committee heard their argument and said, no, it doesn't pass mus muste. >> reporter: do they have a case here? could they go to court? >> i suspect they do have a days. maybe the hospital isn't putting the patient's health at top priority if they are even given the option to opt out if you can a employ and have a religious exemption. i understand about the oler gee, what about a religious exemption would put patients' health above the employees interest? it shows to me at least that the
employees apt interest still matters if they are able to opt out. on what basis if some of these nurses applied for religious exemption, who at the hospital determined that they are not religious enough? it causes a huge slippery slope. if the hospital is going to regulate this are they going to regulate how many cups of coffee a nurse had? are they going to regulate how much fried food the nurse has? all of this impacts our own health. it makes us too wired, too lethargic or too heavy which definitely impacts patients' health. these nurses may be standing on principle that we don't want this hospital invading my body and my life, that has nothing to substantively do with patient health, which i think is the problem here. jon: what about that slippery slope argument, faith. >> i don't believe it. one in four hospital workers every year display these flu-like symptoms and very few
of them seek treatment for it. studies have already shown that. let's not talk about all these other extrinsic issues when the issue here really is this virus being spread to patients in the hospital, is there a way to prevent it. because if there is you know what you're doing, you're preventing yourself to being open to liability on the back end if we don't protect our patients then that's exactly what hospitals will be open to. >> i think that the better way to handle this those when faith says that one out of four come to work, or display flu-like symptoms and are sick maybe the onus should be on their supervisors to better look at their employees and say you know what you're sniff link too much today or coughing too much you need to go home right no and i think that is probably the better way to handle it. jon: both of you stick around for a minute because we have another legal topic we want to get to. this one is so bizarre i put one of our ace reporters on it to check out the details and see whether this is really true. a convicted killer and some of
his jail mates are blaming their lifetimes of crime on alcohol and suing beer companies. rick folbaum checked it out, he's in the newsroom with the story. >> reporter: they say the booze made them do it that is the claim of a convicted murderer who along with his four fellow inmates how mentioned are suing major beer companies for not warning consumers that their products are addictive. keith allen brown is serving a 15 year sentence for killing a man five years ago. he now says that his alcoholism which began when he was a boy put him on a path that eventually led him to commit murder. the inmates who were doing time at a facility in idaho are filing the suit on their own, they do not have attorneys. they don't name defendants, rather they do. there are eight of them. anheuser-busch, coors, miller brewing and american brands which is the owner of jim beam. moat suits have been dismissed. a judge in south dakota tossed
out a case brought by a indian tribe that said it krabted to alcoholism on their rester sraeufplgts the judge said the defendant in that indicates may be part low to blame but the lawsuit addressed state and not federal issues. we'll see what happens with this new case brought by inmates in idaho. back to you. jon: let's get back to our legal experts. faith jenkins a former prosecutor, esther panich a criminal defense attorney. faith, so many of these prisons are required to set up prisoners with law libraries so they can appeal their own cases. is that an example of that kind of thing gone wrong. >> you have a lot of time to think about what you're going to do and this is one of those cases. anyone can file a lawsuit but does this have merit? the problem is it's going to be very difficult for these prisoners for a judge to be convinced that these beer companies should be held culpable for a product that is safely used and responsibly used
by millions of americans on a daily basis. there has to be some kind of cause-effect connection here and i don't see them making that in this case. jon: esther, you know, back in the middle 90 people sued tobacco companies, and nobody thought they were going to win and the tobacco campeche companies ended up coughing up a whole loft money. >> that's what the inmates would have to do, show that the alcohol companies knew there substance was a tkeufbgt, knew it caused harm and didn't provide it to the general public which is why tobacco got into so much trouble. i agree with faith. inmates have a lot of few times. they only come after the ineffective assistants of your own counsel lawsuits because they have nothing better to do. it doesn't surprise me that no lawyer has taken on this case for them. jon: these guys are suing on their own, they've written their own complaint. >> it doesn't surprise me. the general public may not be
aware of just how flooded the courts are with these kinds of lawsuits but they are flooded with these kinds of lawsuits, and of course the courts have to process them like any other case. i'd be interested to see how quickly this case gets dismissed. i'd be shocked if it survives any real challenge to the complaint. jon: what about the point, though, that tobacco companies apparently had some research that said, yeah, we know that smoking tobacco is not good to you. if there were some kind of a smoking gun like that in the beer company files, would that change the bo potential automatic come here? >> i don't think you'll find a smoking gun like that in this case. tobacco is not alcohol. you're talking about two very different substances here. we all know, especially working as a prosecutor that thol does contribute to people committing crimes, it impairs their judgment and people act out on there.
at the end of the day where does the responsibility lie stpheu don't think anyone is going to take it to the next level and say that alcohol companies should bear that responsibility. jon: one of the inmates wrote in his complaint at no time in my life was i ever informed that alcohol was habit forming and addictive, it's always someone else's fault with some of these guys. we have to say goodbye. thank you both. jenna: this potentially could be another interesting case, really a tragic one, a young photographer trailing an a-list celebrity in los angeles is killed by oncoming traffic. we'll tell you who he was following and who he was desperately trying to photograph when all of this happened. an incurable bacterial disease destroying more than half of florida's orange crops. the cost to you and your family next. c'mon dad!
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try alka-seltzer. kills heartburn fast. yeehaw! marie callender's turkey breast with stuffing is a great reason to slow down. creamy mash potatoes, homestyle gravy and 320 calories. marie callender's. it's time to savor. skwhrao brand-new numbers in from the f.b.i. into our newsroom that we wanted to share with you, and this has to do with the number of f.b.i. background checks for u.s. gun purchases in the month of december. apparently according to the f.b.i. there has been a record set for those background checks for gun purchases just last month. to give you and i idea of what we're talking about, 2.8 million background checks according to the f.b.i. is about 800,000 more than they had in november and a million more than they had last december at the same time. now rights is attributing this to what we saw in connecticut, the school massacre there and
all the new conversation about limits of firearms, how that might play into this number. just a word of caution here, a background check doesn't mean necessarily -- doesn't necessarily lead to gun purchases, that's why there is a background check. of note by the f.b.i. today a record number of background checks for u.s. gun purchases last month. jon: a photographer is dead, killed by oncoming traffic in los angeles. he was trying to snap a picture of justin bieber's white ferrari. the singer was not in the car at the time but tmz reports the paparazzi had been following bieber all day one of the photographer's friends spoke out after the accident. >> i just came to pay may are my respects to him. because he was a great kid. he was just a kid. i know some people will say, another crazy paparazzi trying to make the money, actually he was not a paparazzi, he was just another kid from new mexico.
jon: well, justin bieber released a statement saying while he wasn't directly involved in the accident his thoughts and appraisers are with the familiar leave the victim. bieber adding, he hopes this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation to protect the lives of celebrities, police officers, innocent bystanders and photographers themselves. jenna: new fears of a disease ravaging orange crops in florida could mean higher prices at the supermarkets. >> reporter: this is something called kreut cuss greek, a big, big problem for citrus farmers in florida and for juice drinkers all over the country. the best guess is that half of the sunshine state's orange and grapefruit trees are infected with a bacterial disease that gets into the trees and kills them slowly causing the fruit to fall off before they are raoeupg. greening is estimated to have
cost the florida citrus industry $4.5 billion in revenue. this is a $9 billion a year business in florida. growers are very concerned and here is why you should be too. a loss of half of the crop could mean a big spike in prices at the store. in prices go up that would follow a trend in recent years. the florida department of citrus data say retail prices for oj have gone up more than 50-cents a gallon since 2007 b. 90% of the orange juice we drink comes from florida. back to you. jenna: something to watch for shaoufrplt thank you. jon: as families struggle to pick up the pieces after natural disasters like super storm sandy many find their insurance companies asking for proof of what was loss. now businesses are offering their services to help families before disaster strikes. and do you recognize this guy? he is the star of one of the world's longest running tv shows, and he's about to go
global in a very special way. we have big news for fans of the classic series "doctor who" "
jenna: the nightmare of losing all your belongings in a natural disaster is often made worse when you have to provide an insurance company proof of what is no longer there. think about what is inside your house right now would you know everything inside at this time? a growing number of companies are offering homeowners inventories and documenting assets for themment alicia acuna is live in denver with more.
>> reporter: with all the fraud out there, your memory is only going to get you so far with insurance companies, so one way to go and one way to plan ahead is to use home inventory companies. and this is one way you can plan ahead, and the companies do what their name implies. they create lists of the valuables in and around your home. we talked tow are to kerry mitchell who owns together we stand home inventory. she decided to start this company after watching her neighbors lose everything in a fire. it took 350 homes. owners had minutes to gather what they could before getting out. she charges about $550 to document what you have. >> one item that you'd lose in any kind of a loss that you couldn't remember, or you couldn't prove would pay for your inventory, really. and it's that simple. i mean to me it's kind of a no-brainer. i wasn't aware of it either. i just want people, don't wait
until its too late. >> reporter: this is how it works in four hours time a couple of representatives come to your house and type down what you own. take down serial numbers and photos. that is stored on a flash drive, cd, or in some cases the cloud. carol decided to go with the service after losing her, irlooms in the robbery. >> the check the insurance company writes after our deductible, you know if you at least have value on it and an itemized list it would be easier for both parties and it won't be questionable. >> reporter: some companies charge by the square foot of your home, others by the hour. jenna, the information is good for insurance companies not only in the event of a disaster but also in the event of theft or divorce. jenna. jenna: sounds like a good idea. thank you. jon: who ever said a dog is man's best friend might not have moat romo, this pint-sized robot a big hit, how he works and how
you can get your own romo next. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle.
>> a lot of people have an old iphone. they don't know what to do with it. here is an option, you may want to pick up a romo. a pint-sized robot that uses your smart phone as the brain and use another device to control it and another set of eyes and ears, bro